Overcoming Doubts with Burning Passion

This is not a story of someone who had that intense passion to claim that CPA title etched so deeply with both eyes burning so intently upon it. This is not a story of how an aspiring CPA battles the whole world just to reach his long childhood dream.

This is for those who are against themselves, who doubts their abilities, who might be here not because it was what they wanted, but because of what their parents wanted, who carry on silent battles of lost passion while they dragged themselves out of bed every day to walk paths they don’t feel walking. This is for the doubtful and for the one who walk with the heavy burden of lost passion.

This is a very common situation for many aspiring CPAs, but through dedication and the right mindset, the title is still yours to claim and is your valuable stepping stone for catapulting you in grabbing that passion fruit you so longingly desires.

Like many souls wandering the prestigious island of the accountancy profession, stumbling into two or more students who says they’re just here because their parents wants them in here is not uncommon, in fact you can find many sharing the same sentiment. But knowing this, why do some still succeed in claiming the prestigious title and end up happy and driven at the end?

As a student who has always been inclined to words – reading good novels, and participating in writing contests as well as school debates – looking at problems riddled with numbers were a nightmare for me. I even feared the calculator and anything that has to do with Math. I have to admit that in high school, I had a heavy feeling every time Math class was on its way, so I took the initiative to sit beside my Math genius friend for some help in that dreaded subject and I’d go ahead and help him out in English class *fist bump*

But here comes college, and this aspiring lawyer, number-loathing kid, was lost as to what path to choose for a pre-law course. My Dad gave a call and convinced me to do a last minute attempt at the Accountancy entrance exam. I got in. There was a point when I almost convinced myself I made a terrible mistake as I tried shifting to Legal Management at the end of first year but decided against it and continued Accountancy when I passed the annual removal exams at a cliff’s edge from failing. Accountancy was nowhere near what I expected from a pre-law course. Well yeah we had RFBT which is cool and Tax (killer subject), but most of the time I was just losing passion and drive to finish this course, I was silent and unmotivated.

After a lot of struggles due to the heavy load of subjects and an appointment to lead the school council as its president on my 4th and final year in college, I managed to graduate. This was possible due to a group of friends who re-kindled the flame of my passion every time it flickered and dimmed, and my parents who believed I was more than what I thought I was capable of.

But then we were all facing a greater giant – the CPA board exam. The board exam was also known for its dream-killer difficulty as it boasts a 6-subject exam with a 75% passing grade and a dwindling national passing rate that was almost always between 20-30%. I tried to drill into my head that if I fail this exam, I won’t be able to take on the BAR which is considered an even greater kind of difficult compared to what I was about to take.

But for a person who did not have that drive that others do for the CPA dream, I tried to fuel myself by looking further beyond that title:

  1. Telling myself constantly that if I pass this exam, I’ll be able to finally do what I am passionate about – enter law school!
  2. Convincing myself that if I pass this exam, I could land a decent job and buy the things that my family wanted and give them the things they could enjoy in life.
  3. Reminding myself that if I managed to defeat this trial, then I would be able to face lesser difficulties and try to challenge the greater ones with confidence.
  4. Treating this exam as a stepping stone that could be a shortcut to the things you I am really passionate about. Like indulging myself in League of Legends or a really good novel

I did not make it on my first attempt as I was robbed of my dream by the conditioned status stemming from a difficult subject (hello AFAR), but as I have read from a Twitter post just yesterday  “never lose sight of the goal” and tried again on May 2019 to burn that AFAR to ashes. You guessed it right, I was finally on that list of passers!

All these are possible because of God, my family, friends, and of course because I never lost sight of the greater goal. I let my passion burn stronger than my doubts and my innate weakness and fears. So to you reader, let your passion burn stronger than this exam because this exam was made for you to overcome. You are already a CPA, the question is when, how early you can claim the title. Do not give up, even if you tried and failed many times before because the passion fruit is so much sweeter when it’s ripe!

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About the Author

Jester Levi Galapon
Jester Levi Galapon
Levi is an aspiring CPA Lawyer currently employed in KPMG R.G. Manabat & Co. under Quality and Risk Management. On his free time, you can find him often reading a good book at a coffee shop or playing League of Legends and watching BTS at the nearest computer gaming hubs.